Lake Nona girls win water polo state title; DP boys runner-up

Buddy Collings, Orlando Sentinel
·2 min read

Undefeated Lake Nona dominated the second half and won Saturday’s girls water polo state championship game 12-6 against top-ranked Miami Gulliver Prep in Miami.

The Lions (18-1) broke a 5-5 halftime tie by outscoring the Raiders 4-0 in the third quarter of the final at Belen Jesuit Prep School. Emily Scheerer scored twice in that decisive run as her team became the first state title team in school history.

“I’m really happy our girls were able to deliver that to our community,” said Lions coach Alex Bennett, who coached Gulliver Prep to three state titles before he moved to Orlando to become Lake Nona’s coach 12 years ago. “We’ve been working really hard for it for 12 years here. A lot of people contributed to this.”

Scheerer, a sophomore, finished with four goals and two assists. Jordan Agliano, a junior who was the Orlando area player of the year last season, added four goals and Catherine Morin contributed two goals and three steals. Melissa Sakalas added 13 blocks in the victory.

“It was a total team effort,” Bennett said. “Defense was just incredible, especially in the second half.”

Both teams were 17-0 entering the final, with Gulliver ranked No. 1 and the Lions No. 2 by MaxPreps.

Lake Nona, which topped Seminole 12-9 in a Friday semifinal game, may be the first FHSAA state championship program that succeeded at the highest level without a pool on or near its campus. The Lions practice at Lake Highland Prep in downtown Orlando, at least a half hour away from their school.

Dr. Phillips lost 22-11 to top-ranked Gulliver Prep (25-0) in the boys final to finish 17-3 for the season.

Colin Bryant, Sam Collinwood and Liam Ortiz each had two goals for DP in the defeat.

This story was first published at Varsity Content Editor Buddy Collings can be reached by email at